The free Warzone expansion to EVE: Valkyrie adapts the high-immersion experience of virtual reality to computer and TV screens. Valkyrie pilots can now fly and fight together with or without a VR headset.
Today is the day that CCP launches their Warzone expansion for EVE Valkyrie. Owners of CCP’s VR title get some new content for free, expanding the options of a game that has been criticized for being limited in depth.
The point of the Warzone Extraction event in EVE Online has ostensible been to draw attention to this new addition to EVE Valkyrie, though I am not sure it has done much in that regard.
And while I am sure that more content good news for people who already have the game, the big news here is the expansion of the target audience beyond those who have ponied up a few hundred dollars for a VR headset. This is why CCP wants to make EVE players aware of this update.
I suppose it is easy enough to explain why CCP went this route; removing the VR requirement increases their potential audience manifold, starting with a few hundred thousand current and former EVE Online players they can market to directly… if they can figure that out.
I am not sure what the system requirements are yet. The entry over at Steam still matches the Oculus Rift system requirements, of which my rig is just shy. I have the processor indicated but need a video card upgrade. I suspect that the requirements for running without VR should be less, but I do not know for sure. [Update: INN has the non-VR requirements and they are reduced.]
But is there also a message about the current state of VR in this move to support a non-VR option? I see lots of rosy predictions for the future growth of VR and if you Google you can find numbers that show that over 100 million VR headsets had shipped by the end of 2016. But if you dig in you find out that almost all of those were Google Cardboard and it seems much less impressive. And there is no “killer app” yet to move the more expensive headsets more quickly.
Anyway, EVE Valkyrie is now VR optional.
I will be interested to hear how it plays without VR. I should still have a special item waiting for me in the game courtesy of the EVE Online Second Decade Collector’s Edition I got back in 2013.
Of course, I’m not sure how to collect it. It is attached to the somewhat maligned CCP Mystery Code from the collector’s edition. I am sure the card is somewhere in my office at home, but I couldn’t tell you where. Until I find it I suppose I can watch the launch trailer.